The California Mini-Corps Indoor Migrant Teacher Assistant Program came into being in 1967. Fourteen (14) college students were recruited and participated in a two week preservice training course at Chico State College. The fourteen corpsmen lived and worked in Gridley. Today Mini-Corps students continue to implement their talents with migrant children. A sense of dedication and commitment is still required of the corps of young people. These students are to provide extracurricular activities at the school and migrant camp centers that make the school's education meaningful to migrant children and their families. Some Mini-Corps students are assigned to work in the migrant labor centers where they work with the migrant community. Most importantly, they are role models that, hopefully, raise the aspirations of migrant students. These young people possess the enthusiasm and devotion to provide services above and beyond what is expected of them.
From the modest beginning of fourteen Mini-Corps young people, the program has grown to include approximately 500 instructional tutors trained on college sites to provide services to migrant children and their families in at least thirty-two (32) counties in the state.
Today, the California Mini-Corps Program encompasses two major goals.
- Provide direct instructional tutorial services to increased migrant student academic achievement through a cadre of trained college tutors.
- Develop a cadre of future bilingual-bicultural, credentialed teachers that will be better equipped to work with migrant students.
Summer of 2017 marked the fiftieth summer during which the California Mini-Corps college students will service the needs of thousands of migrant students. California Mini-Corps students are involved in:
- regular classroom assignments
- after-school programs
- Saturday school programs
- special projects which are sponsored by the Migrant Ed. region
- home visitations parent education
- parent-teacher conferences
- curriculum development
- ongoing teacher training
A significant percentage of participants in the California Mini-Corps Program have gone on to become successful educators who are sensitive to the needs of migrant children and their communities.
The Outdoor Education Program is a summer program component within the California Mini-Corps Program designed to assist with the education of migrant students. The program provides migrant students an opportunity to experience learning outside of the classroom.
The Outdoor Education program goals for migrant students are:
1. To develop appreciation, respect and understanding of human's relationship with nature.
2. To build self-confidence, collaboration, leadership and problem-solving skills.
3. Increase understanding/knowledge base of select science and environmental education concepts.
During the week at camp, the children will participate in diverse learning activities such as journal writing, team building activities, camp fires, CCSS based lessons presented by the Outdoor Education staff, skit development, leadership activities via exposure to ropes elements (when available), short and long term goal setting, guided nature hikes, overnighters, cultural activities and reflection time. Children will learn to apply the five senses to the learning of science in an outdoor setting, exposing the students to "live science."
The California Mini-Corps Puppetry program objectives are:
1. To provide direct instructional tutorial services to increase migrant student academic achievement through a cadre of trained college tutors.
2. Develop a cadre of future bilingual-bicultural, credentialed teachers that will be better equipped to work with migrant students.
Mini-Corps Puppetry students are trained in presentation techniques wherein puppets serve as the vehicle for creative instruction in personal, mental health and self-esteem. The puppets will engage the migrant students and their families in verbal experiences through effective puppet presentations, story boards, creative expression, and multicultural experiences in the primary language of the students and in English.
Over 20 Mini-Corps Puppetry students are trained to provide puppet presentations statewide, with teams assigned to areas where summer schools are being conducted. The students work with preschool to high school students in cooperation with the participating migrant education regions.